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GODDESSES OF MYTH: Astarte
Origin: Ancient Mesopotamia
Often conflated with the later Greek goddess Artemis and Aphrodite, Astarte is the dual Mesopotamian goddess of War and Love. Her name means star, and she provides the power that lights the moon. Astarte is the all encompassing power of the sun and stars in the heavens. She is also the ruler of the dead.
In her power as a love goddess, Astarte rules feminine passion, sexuality, and sexual pleasure in marriage and extramarital sexual encounters. She is the symbol of female empowerment and ultimate feminine sexual freedom.
She is also a goddess of war, which is ironic since one of her symbols is the dove—an animal now conflated with peace.